by Angela
on Apr 14th, 2007

OExp: Australia Finale

I am home now in Christchurch. This is my last post with regards to OExp. I have never traveled on my own before. When I first decided to do this, I was quite nervous about the whole idea of spending almost 3 weeks on my own (my sis and Jim were with me for first 10 days). When I first told most of my colleagues, they were all happy for me and most thought it was a fantastic idea. I only had one person ask me if I was crazy. Funny huh?

So was this trip what I hoped it would be? The answer is yes. I find the most difficult question that I have been asked is “where are you from”. My answer is Malaysia. Even though most of my adulthood years were spent in America, the values and the character instill in me are still Malaysian. I do get a puzzled look sometimes, I think this is because of my accent that is neither American nor Malaysian.

When I was traveling through Australia, I met many people. Some were much older than me, others were my age and some were younger. They were all friendly and easy to talk to. Most of them were from the UK, and Germany.  Many families (mom and pop) thought I was a student traveling and decided that I should not eat alone. They always pull up a chair and ask me to join them. It’s quite nice really especially coming from total strangers. They were interested to know what I do, where am I heading to, and where I’ve been.

I met a young lady from Switzerland who aspires to be a radiographer. She was with me most of the time through Alice Springs to Ayers Rock. It’s so nice to meet someone young who knows what she wants to be. Too much TV got me worried about the women of tomorrow!.

I also met another lady from Germany, she just graduated and is on vacation before she starts her career as a lawyer. She speaks fluent english and was easy to talk to. We hike the base of Uluru together.

Again, I never thought that i would have enjoyed traveling on my own as much and to be honest I never really felt as though I was on my own. Jim was only a phone call away (ah.. the perks of technology).

The experience of staying at the youth hostel was unique. I have never stayed in a dorm before so sharing a room with 4 girls was quite interesting. I actually like the practicality of being able to cook while I am on vacation. I like eating out sometimes but I really do not fancy fast food at all. Eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner would be a real fuss to me. I like to enjoy and spent time on a good meal but not on every single meal.

Traveling around Australia was quite easy. The total of 4 weeks and 2 days went by really fast. There were no fuss in booking a tour or getting information. There are endless sights to see and things to do. If I was ever in doubt, I stop and ask somebody. I only rented a car on the last day of my trip in Cairns and I drove up to Port Douglas making stops when there is a lookout point.

It feels good to know that I can do something out of my comfort zone. I would have never dreamed of backpacking on my own around Australia. The experience had been wonderful. The sights were amazing and the people were really easy going. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

To those of you who received a post card from me, it had been a pleasure writing cards to you. I lost count who I wrote to and how many I wrote. So some may get more than one …. and others none …. Ooooops ;-).

New/Cool experience:

stayed at a hotel in King Cross (red light districts) Sydney, check into a youth hostel in Melbourne, shared a dorm room with 4 people, rode on a tram in Melbourne, attended the FINA World Swimming Championship, catch up with an old friend from Penang in Melb, had a local Penang cuisine at 12:30am with Lena (sister) and Jen (friend), met an Aussie friend and joined her to the Police and Fire Games village in Adelaide, spotting koalas in the wild in Adelaide, kissed by a blue tongue lizard in Alice Springs, rain in Alice Spring (dessert), driving through flood runs, hiking up Kata Tjuta in the rain, watching sunrise of Uluru from lookout point, seeing crocodiles for the first time, meeting aboriginal people, snorkeling at the great barrier reef, sailing on a catamaran.

I will post some of the pictures from each stop on Flickr soon. That’ll all folks.  Thanks for following the OExp: Australia blogs.

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